All Creatures Great and Small: Auburn’s New Facilities

By on 18 December, 2015 in Kate and Stephen, Pets with 0 Comments

Midtown Montgomery is full of pet lovers. On any given night, we see a dozen other dogs and their owners out and about while we walk our own. Many of Midtown’s homes have yards perfect for canine friends, and many (but not enough) of our streets have sidewalks perfect for strolling with a leashed buddy. Most folks seem to have good sense about picking up after their pets, and there’s a good community of people with shared senses of compassion and camaraderie.

Another benefit of pet ownership in Midtown is that we’re lucky to live close to our beloved veterinarian (Charles McLemore, of Montgomery Veterinary Associates), who gives us the kind of focused and kind personal service you get in a small town. But sometimes (as we’ve written about here before), the kind of care a pet needs can best be provided at a specialized facility.

Yesterday, we were reminded how lucky we are to live just under an hour away from a truly world-class animal hospital – Auburn’s Small Animal Teaching Hospital. Our dog came from the Montgomery Humane Society, as do many others in our neighborhood. She’s filled our house with love for the five years we’ve had her. But she’s had her own set of issues – specifically, a whole host of allergies. Three years ago, when our doctor first referred us to Auburn for her allergy testing, their new facility was under construction.

We’ve written about dog allergies before, but when you get a dog that’s allergic to stuff, one of the manifestations of those allergies is weirdly that they start getting ear infections. If your dog is pawing at her ears and you can’t figure out why, if it’s not fleas or mites or something, it just might be allergies. The good folks at Auburn helped us figure out what made our dog itch, and gave us a formulation designed to fight the allergens. It had to be injected once a week, and that’s what we’ve been doing for a while now.

It turns out that allergy shots need to be refined over time for some animals. So when our dog started scratching again (and again and again), we called Auburn and were miraculously able to get a same-day appointment.

When we arrived, we were absolutely stunned by their new facility (okay, it’s been open a year and a half, but it’s new to us). It’s modern without being intimidating, offers ample parking and all the green space dogs need. Inside, the reception area is spacious and airy, with tall ceilings and a welcoming staff. There are several waiting areas with comfortable chairs, and the exam rooms themselves are extremely clean. You really do feel like you are in the hands of some of the world’s best-trained pet experts. And that’s because you are.

It’s a teaching hospital, which is pretty cool. The first person you talk to is a student cycling through the rotation of specialties – ours had just started in dermatology. Their job is to talk you through the symptoms and history. Then they go to talk to the doctor, who comes out shortly to do their own exam. This is a very informative process, because the doctor is trying to teach at the same time that they consult with you. Every time we go, I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Sometimes they keep your pet for examination – this time it was about an hour, so I went and wandered around Auburn for a while. No matter what you think of their college football team, Auburn is a pretty nice little town. Turns out that their Earthfare is a lot nicer than ours!

In any case, the dog’s fine (though we’re not sure how we’re going to manage two baths a week for three weeks!). They’ve readjusted her injection serum formulation and she is wagging her tail. All in all, we’re happy to be living with the best of both worlds: close proximity to top notch local veterinary care, but also nearby access to top-flight specialists in a world-class facility.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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